Orange to sponsor FA Challenge Cup
- A deal in excess of P10 million in the pipe line, negotiations at an advanced stage
- Sponsorship to be unveiled after logistics talks conclude
Mobile network giant Orange Botswana are said to be close to agreeing a deal with the Botswana Football Association to sponsor the rejuvenated and much anticipated FA Challenge Cup which has been on hold since the 2011/2012 season.
The mobile network provider is believed to have beaten off competition from an unnamed bank in a double figure deal believed to be worth between P10 million and P12 million, both companies are still in negotiations and the talks have reached an advanced stage according to a well placed source.
“Orange will be the new sponsors of the FA Cup, negotiations are at approximately 75 percent in terms of concluding the deal. The competition will return later this season or next season,” the source claimed.
The sponsorship is set to be unveiled once both parties conclude logistic talks, mainly the format and the timing of the competition in the upcoming season. Orange and the BFA are already well acquainted having enjoyed a relationship since 2005, a new partnership is in the works in the form of the FA Cup.
Bringing back the FA Cup is widely viewed as a welcome move by the local football fraternity because lower league clubs will also have a chance to participate in a knockout cup competition for the first time in five years.
BFA’s current administration believes in and preaches ‘development’ as the key to improving football in Botswana, the return of the competition that launched the careers of Mogogi Gabonamong, Mogakolodi Ngele, Kenneth Mogae (who was in charge of Stone Breakers) and Pio Paul (who defied the odds by winning the 2007 cup with BMC as a coach) amongst others will surely make development the common theme as numerous lower league teams still rely on young players.
History has proved that the FA Cup unearths ‘diamonds in the rough’, the competition is the country’s greatest production line and that prospect will please the BFA leadership. Numerous companies have submitted bids throughout the years but Orange finally prevailed over all by offering the best deal. “The BFA and Orange have sworn secrecy about the deal according to the source and their non disclosure agreement prevents them from talking about the deal prematurely.” the source added.
The reports that the FA Cup is certainly returning were initially sent into overdrive during the Botswana Premier League AGM in June whereby delegates were informed that the BFA was close to agreeing a deal with a new FA Cup sponsor. This past weekend BFA President MacLean Letswhiti stated in his speech at the association’s General Assembly that that “negotiations are at an advanced stage to launch a sponsorship for the FA Cup competition in the 2017/2018 season.” The president refused to disclose the name of the company sponsoring the tournament when asked by the media after the Assembly.
Reached for comment, an Orange Botswana representative dismissed the rumour. “We do not have any agreement in place, that is further from the truth. We do not have anything to discuss in this regard because the rumour contains no facts,” the Orange rep stated.